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Students will become sustainability change-makers through curricula, educator training, and a Student Innovation Fund.

EcoRise, the school-based nonprofit organization inspiring a new generation of leaders to design a sustainable future for all, and MetLife Foundation have joined forces to deliver a new education program to 20 New Jersey educators at no cost to teachers, schools, or school districts. The Sustainable Intelligence Program includes leading-edge sustainability curricula, professional development for educators, and access to classroom micro-grants for student-driven sustainability projects. This is the first partnership of its kind bringing eco-literacy and the EcoRise Student Innovation Fund to New Jersey students.

Twenty educators from economically-disadvantaged or Title 1 schools in New Jersey will receive access to the EcoRise K­–12 program, which includes more than 200 standards-aligned lessons introducing students to sustainability principles, green building concepts, social entrepreneurship, and design thinking. The program will also give educators access to training and support from the EcoRise team. By equipping teachers with resources and support, this partnership aims to impact up to 1,000 students.

The Sustainable Intelligence Program, which is used in 3,200 K–12 classrooms across the U.S., supports students in becoming sustainability change-makers. Over the course of the year, students build foundational environmental knowledge through hands-on projects before doing an Eco-Audit investigation of their school’s environmental performance in energy, waste, water, food, public spaces, air quality, or transportation. Students then apply to the Student Innovation Fund, which underwrites classroom micro-grants for data-driven projects that reduce a school’s environmental footprint. The support from MetLife Foundation will expand EcoRise’s Student Innovation Fund to 10 student teams in New Jersey. Students will have the opportunity to showcase their funded projects to the community in May 2020 at the Student Innovation Showcase in New York City.

MetLife employee volunteers will directly mentor students, help with project implementation, and share their experiences with sustainability practices and career development.

“We are excited to partner with MetLife Foundation and commend its financial support in local communities and belief in the enormous untapped potential of youth,” says Jonathan Stott, Executive Director of EcoRise. “We can’t wait to expand our programs to the Garden State, building off the success we have had regionally in New York City; Washington, DC; and Boston.”

MetLife Chief Sustainability Officer Tim Ring adds: “We recognize the important role that today’s youth will play in securing a healthy environment for us all. MetLife has a longstanding commitment to environmental stewardship, and we are proud that MetLife Foundation and MetLife’s employee volunteers will partner with EcoRise to improve access to sustainability education.”

New Jersey teachers who would like to participate can contact EcoRise or join EcoRise for a training in New York City on February 26, 2020. RSVP for the NYC Training at


About MetLife Foundation
At MetLife Foundation, we believe financial health belongs to everyone. We bring together bold solutions, deep financial expertise and meaningful grants to build financial health for people and communities that are underserved and aspire for more. We partner with organizations around the world to create financial health solutions and build stronger communities, engaging MetLife employee volunteers to help drive impact. To date, our financial health work has reached 9.9 million low-income individuals in 42 countries. To learn more about MetLife Foundation, visit

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